Advertisement

Carroll residents remember their dads for Father's Day

Father's Day is a time to remember your dads and honor the things they've done for you over the years. In celebration of the holiday, the Times caught up with some well-known Carroll residents to discuss their fathers.

The Rev. John Rudolph, North Carroll Cooperative Parish of the United Methodist Church

Advertisement

Q: What is your favorite memory of your father?

My favorite memory of my dad, Ernest William Rudolph, was one of the last. He passed away three years ago, and we had his viewing at the church we grew up in and where he had started a youth baseball league in 1964. My memory is of the amount of people that came back to pay their respects. The viewing line wrapped around the pews of the church, out the front door, down the street and around the corner. It was the type of scene you see on television for famous people. My dad was not famous but it hit me that night that he had a major impact on a small community in West Virginia.

Q: What is the most important thing he taught you?

Radical hospitality. He loved and cared for everyone. He was not prejudiced or judgmental against anybody. Everyone was welcomed at our home at anytime; we would have a yard or house full of neighborhood kids all the time playing basketball, eating our food, etc. We did not have lots growing up, but he would give you everything he had. He never locked our garage, because he said, if people stole from us, that meant they needed it more than we did.

Q: What is something about him you will never forget?

His genuine joy. He was a big, strong, athletic man but filled with joy and gentleness. He loved to laugh and keep things light. He was known for flashing the "OK" sign with his fingers and that pretty much summed up who he was; when you were around my dad, you knew that everything was going to be "OK."

Q: What did he do that you are most thankful for?

In 1964, he started an independent youth baseball league in Summit Point, WV, which was a small farming community. It started out with three or four boys wanting to learn how to play, and grew into a league that attracts over 400 players today. His philosophy was revolutionary at the time; everyone makes the team and everyone plays. They were one of the first in the country to allow girls to play and also started a precursor to tee-ball which he called the diaper league. I also love it that it started in the Methodist Church yard and now I am a United Methodist pastor.

Q: What was your worst punishment, and what did you do to you earn it?

Not necessarily a punishment but when I was in college, I came home one weekend with an earring; my dad was crushed to the point where he teared up and didn't talk to me for a day or two. A few days later we were having a family dinner and when I walked in my dad along with my older brothers all had clip-on earrings dangling from their lobes. The air was cleared.

Jeff Eline, owner Eline Funeral Home

Q: What is your favorite memory of your father?

My favorite memory was going to the Colts games at Memorial Stadium. I can still remember sitting in the frigid Baltimore winter air and eating as many hot dogs as I could.

Q: What is the most important thing he taught you?

Advertisement

He met and dealt with all kinds of people and he genuinely liked most people. He taught me that no matter a person's station in life, you should always treat them with dignity.

Q: What is something about him you will never forget?

His mischievousness. He loved to play pranks or jokes. With our very serious line of work, he knew how to lighten things up at the proper time.

Q: What did he do that you are most thankful for?

I'm most thankful for his love of his family. He worked hard and he was genuinely happy and proud when you did well — and that meant a lot to me.

Q: What was your worst punishment, and what did you do to you earn it?

I got caught stealing a piece of candy when I was 11. He made me write a letter to the owner of the store offering to work in the store or at his house for a weekend for free. The store owner was kind and declined the offer. I then had to rake leaves all weekend, and we had a lot of trees.

Walt Michaels, Director Common Ground on the Hill Festival

Q: What is your favorite memory of your father?

My favorite memory of my father was the time we spent together visiting one another on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. I was a page in the U.S. Supreme Court and he was a district superintendent with the Methodist Church. Our workplaces were across the street from one another. We would have lunches together from time to time at either the Methodist building or the Supreme Court. I was very proud of him and his work. His job was to oversee 130 Methodist churches and to successfully integrate the black and white conferences of the Methodist Church.

Q: What is the most important thing he taught you?

My father taught me many things but I think chief among them was respect and love for all people.

Q: What is something about him you will never forget?

My father's mother died when my father was very young. It was course a major formative event in his life and allowed him to have compassion for others on a very deep level. When I was in junior high school a friend of mine lost his mother. One day my father picked me up from junior high school and as we drove home we spotted my friend walking alone. My father didn't know the boy but pulled the car to the side of the road and parked and went over to him and talked to him. When my father returned back to the car I asked him what they had spoken about. He told me that he told my friend that he too had lost his mother at a young age, [and he] just wanted him to know that he was not alone. I remember thinking that my father was a very special person at that moment.

Q: What did he do that you are most thankful for?

There are so many things that I'm thankful for in terms of my father that it is hard to single out one. In the main, his example of unconditional love remains a constant beacon and goal for me. I'm still working on it.

Q: What was your worst punishment, and what did you do to you earn it?

My father was not so much into punishment. However, I do remember a somewhat humorous event on a family vacation. We were driving home from Canada and my brother and I were fighting in the backseat. We were really getting on our parents' nerves. My father told us repeatedly to stop. Exasperated, he pulled to the side of the road, turned around in the driver seat, and punched both my brother and me right in the face. In retrospect the punches were rather light taps from a skilled flyweight former member of the Dickinson College boxing team. My brother and I didn't say a word and sat in silence in the car. We have had many laughs over this in our adult years. Unconditional love from our dad.

Jeff Spaulding, Chief of Police Westminster Police Department

Q: What is your favorite memory of your father?

Advertisement

My favorite memory of Dad was summer vacations at Herrington Manor State Park in Deep Creek where we stayed in a cabin for a week each summer for many years. One year when I was a child we stopped at a local general store to pick up a few things. As usual, Dad tried to strike up a conversation with an elderly gentleman on the front porch of the store in a rocking chair. Dad asked if the man had heard the weather and the gentleman replied "Haven't heard." Dad, presuming the elderly gentlemen was hard of hearing, replied louder, "Have you heard the weather?" This went on several times with the elderly man replying in progressively louder terms, "Haven't heard." It was only then that Dad figured out that the man was not hard of hearing but had not heard the weather forecast. My sisters, Mom and I laughed until our sides hurt.

Q: What is the most important thing he taught you?

Dad taught me to see the good in people and to treat everyone with dignity and kindness. Like Will Rogers, he never met a person he didn't like and he always had a kind word, a pleasant smile and a firm handshake for anyone he would encounter. In his declining years he suffered from a degenerative disease that robbed him of his ability to speak. Even though he couldn't speak, Dad would greet everyone with a warm smile and a wave. He would then reach into his pocket and hand you a peppermint patty — his own personal way of saying "hi." What a wonderful man.

Q: What is something about him you will never forget?

Dad provided me with a strong moral compass. I'm sure that is one of the reasons I ended up in law enforcement. He didn't compromised when it came to right and wrong, but never tried to force his opinions on me or anyone else. He was a devoutly religious man who modeled what he believed. I will never forget when the Federal government changed the national speed limit from 70 to 55 during the gas shortage in the early '70s. There was my dad, driving 55, not 56, and holding up a long line of traffic on I-70 on the way to Ellicott City. I am sure those drivers were not as charitable to Dad as he would have been to them.

Q: What did he do that you are most thankful for?

I am very thankful for the wonderful example that my dad provided for me. He helped make me the man I am today. As the middle child and the only boy, and I am sure a handful at times, Dad never waivered in his trust, support and guidance. I was truly blessed.

Q: What was your worst punishment, and what did you do to you earn it?

Candidly, I can't remember the "worst" punishment that I got from Dad or what I did to earn it. I am sure that I provided him with more than my fair share of reasons to be punished, but they have faded with time. I just remember that the worst punishment was the understanding that I had disappointed him. As I recall, he never raised his voice or his hand, but my sisters and I knew intuitively that when Dad spoke we did what he told us to. I wish I could say I have been as successful as a parent or a role model for my two girls.

410-857-7890

Twitter.com/Jacob_deNobel

Advertisement
Advertisement